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Peng Shuai: US President Joe Biden calls for China to provide ‘independent, verifiable’ proof of tennis player’s whereabouts | Tennis News

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Statement adds further doubt to authenticity of photos posted by journalist working for international arm of a Chinese government-controlled state broadcaster; Peng Shuai accused former vice-premier of China Zhang Gaoli of sexual assault in a social media post on November 2

Last Updated: 19/11/21 7:52pm

Peng Shuai in an image purportedly posted by the missing Chinese tennis player (Picture credit: @shen_shiwei)

Peng Shuai in an image purportedly posted by the missing Chinese tennis player (Picture credit: @shen_shiwei)

President Joe Biden remains “deeply concerned” about the wherebouts of Chinese tennis player Peng Shuai and wants China to “provide independent, verifiable proof” of her whereabouts – despite Chinese state media releasing photographs of her on Friday.

The mystery surrounding her location and safety took a fresh twist after photos were released on Twitter by journalist Shen Shiwei, who works for CGTN; the international arm of the Chinese government-controlled broadcaster CCTV.

Mr Shen said the pictures were posted on the player’s WeChat messaging app alongside text saying “happy weekend”, and added “her friend shared the three photos and the screenshot of Peng’s WeChat moments”.

The photos show the 35-year-old smiling with a grey cat while surrounded by soft toys

The photos show the 35-year-old smiling with a grey cat while surrounded by soft toys

However, experts have expressed scepticism and questioned the authenticity of the images, while White House press secretary Jen Psaki issued a statement on behalf of President Biden ramping up the pressure on China.

“We join in the calls for PRC (People’s Republic of China) authorities to provide independent and verifiable proof of her whereabouts and that she is safe,” Psaki told reporters on Friday.

“We know the PRC has zero tolerance for criticism and a record of silencing those that speak out and we continue to condemn those practices.”

Others have also pointed to the presence in one of the photos of a framed picture featuring Winnie the Pooh – a character banned in China after people mockingly likened him to President Xi Jinping.

Peng, a former Wimbledon doubles champion, disappeared after writing a social media post on November 2 accusing a former top government official of forcing her to have sex after playing tennis at his home. Her original post on Weibo has been taken down.

An email said to be from Peng was released on Wednesday by CGTN, but doubts have also been raised over its authenticity.

It says the sexual assault claim “is not true” and adds: “I’m not missing, nor am I unsafe. I’ve just been resting at home and everything is fine”.

It comes after Andy Murray and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) joined an online campaign to help find Peng.

The two-time Wimbledon champion tweeted that her “whereabouts (are) currently unknown after making sexual abuse allegations against (a) Chinese government official”.

The LTA said it was a “very concerning situation” and the “immediate priority is to establish that Peng Shuai is safe and well”.

It is important Peng is “able to speak freely and not subject to any form of censorship”, the association added.

Andrew Castle says the whereabouts of Peng Shuai should be at the top of every sporting agenda

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Andrew Castle says the whereabouts of Peng Shuai should be at the top of every sporting agenda

Andrew Castle says the whereabouts of Peng Shuai should be at the top of every sporting agenda

Murray linked his tweet to a video of Czech player Barbora Krejcikova speaking about her country’s liberation from communism during the Velvet Revolution of 1989.

Martina Navratilova, standing behind Krejcikova, is in tears. Navratilova defected from communist Czechoslovakia early in her career, becoming a US citizen in 1981. The revolution ended communist rule in the country and in 1993, the nation was dissolved, becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Murray said of the footage: “This speech gives us a reminder and some hope that things can change in the future. #WhereIsPengShuai.”

Other tennis players including Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka and Novak Djokovic are among those concerned over her whereabouts.

In a statement, the LTA added it had written to the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), offering its assistance in efforts to establish Peng’s “safety and wellbeing”.

The LTA added: “We are also keen to support any further measures that the tours can introduce to improve the safety of all players.”

China’s foreign ministry claimed on Friday it was unaware of the controversy.

Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters it was “not a diplomatic question and I’m not aware of the situation”.

Steve Simon, the head of the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA), said it “only raises my concerns as to her safety and whereabouts”.

Steve Simon, chairman and chief executive of the WTA, says they are 'fully expecting' China to help prove Peng Shuai is safe after an email allegedly from Ms Peng denied she was missing

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Steve Simon, chairman and chief executive of the WTA, says they are ‘fully expecting’ China to help prove Peng Shuai is safe after an email allegedly from Ms Peng denied she was missing

Steve Simon, chairman and chief executive of the WTA, says they are ‘fully expecting’ China to help prove Peng Shuai is safe after an email allegedly from Ms Peng denied she was missing

“I have a hard time believing that Peng Shuai actually wrote the email we received or believes what is being attributed to her,” he said in a statement.

“Peng Shuai displayed incredible courage in describing an allegation of sexual assault against a former top official in the Chinese government.

“The WTA and the rest of the world need independent and verifiable proof that she is safe. I have repeatedly tried to reach her via numerous forms of communication, to no avail.”

Mr Simon said Peng’s sexual assault claim must be investigated with “full transparency” and she should be allowed to speak “without coercion or intimidation”.

Speaking to NBC News, he also raised the prospect of rethinking WTA events in China if things are not resolved satisfactorily.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International said Chinese authorities must prove Peng is safe and fully investigate the sexual assault allegations.

The country has a “track record of forcing statements out of individuals under duress, or else simply fabricating them”, said its China researcher Doriane Lau.

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Lost In Space Cast Previews Third and Final Season of the Epic Adventure

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As has become a holiday tradition, Lost In Space Season three drops just in time for your holiday enjoyment.


Lost In Space Season 2 found everyone scattered across space.


The children were without their adult anchors, and with their children on their own, the adults are moving heaven and earth to join them.

Lost In Space Season 3 Poster


Penny and Will, especially, are changing and growing up, maturing due to necessity and proving themselves to be quite resourceful.


Max Jenkins and Mina Sundwall chatted with us about how they’ve grown.


Will is forging new relationships, including one with Dr. Smith, and Max shares what that means without spoiling any of the fun for you.



We also spoke with Molly Parker, Ignacio Serricchio, and Toby Stephens, who remind us where we’ve been and what we can expect.


Molly explains how Maureen feels about losing the kids.


“It’s a bit of a bummer,” she says with a chuckle.


Toby explains how the separation affects John and Molly’s marriage.

Lost in Space Season 3 Photo


They share a sense of failure but cannot move forward until they have answers.


Ignacio offers insight into Don’s coping mechanism, the joking we’ve come to enjoy that he uses to alleviate stress.


And although Molly says that it’s a depressing start, she has more to say about how the season progresses.


Hint: It gets fun really quick!



From what we’ve seen so far, there is a lot to love about the new season.


New relationships blossom, and as situations arise, so rise the characters we love to handle them.


Sadly, our space adventure with the Robinsons is coming to a close.


But the final season offers all of the answers you’ve been clamoring for, too.


It’s a wonderful start to the holiday season, so gather the family to watch Lost In Space Season 3 when it drops on Netflix on Wednesday, December 2.


Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She’s a member of the Critic’s Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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Cricket 22 Release Date, Download, Pre-Order, Review, Gameplay, Price, and More

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Cricket 22 is the latest iteration in the popular cricket video game franchise by Big Ant Studios. It will be the first game in the series to be available for the next-generation consoles: PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S/X. Cricket 22 will have Pat Cummins and Meg Lanning — captains of Australia’s men and women teams, respectively — on the cover. Though that wasn’t always the case. Tim Paine, the ex-captain of the team, was replaced with Cummins on the game’s cover in the light of his involvement in a recent scandal.

Big Ant Studios has described Cricket 22 as the studio’s “most detailed cricket simulation”. The game is being released in time for the upcoming Ashes — a biennial test series played between Australia and England — taking place in Australia this year. As such, it’s officially titled Cricket 22 : The Official Game of The Ashes.

In addition to PS5 and Series S/X, Cricket 22 will also be available to play on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest title in the Cricket franchise.

Cricket 22 release date

Earlier slated to release on November 25, Cricket 22 will now release on December 2 at 12:01am as per your local time zone. Speaking on the delay, Big Ant CEO Ross Symons said that “there was a critical day 1 patch that players will need to enjoy the full Cricket 22 experience that has consequently needed to be revoked.” Symons further added that both physical and digital copies will get delayed.

Cricket 22’s last-minute delayed was also due to a scandal involving Australian cricketer Tim Paine. Paine resigned as the captain of the men’s cricket team after he was recently found to have sent lewd messages to a colleague from the women’s cricket team in 2017. He was also on the original cover art for the game but Big Ant Studios had to redevelop “the cover art, other visuals, and team lists.”

Cricket 22 is also releasing for Nintendo Switch but it will only be released in January 2022. This will make the popular cricket video game franchise one of the few major sporting titles on the handheld console.

Is Cricket 22 on Steam?

The latest Cricket title from Big Ant Studios is listed on Steam. At the time of writing, the early access game — a demo version, of sorts — is available and comes with a note that says that it is not yet complete. You can pre-order Cricket 22 at Rs. 2,999 on Steam to get early access.

Cricket 22 price, pre-order

Cricket 22 is priced at Rs. 3,999 in India and AUD 99.95 (roughly Rs. 5,350) across platforms. Players who pre-order the game would receive Cricket 22 Nets Training, Batting and Bowling mini games, and online leaderboards.

The game is also available to pre-order and can be purchased through Cricket Australia’s online store for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and Xbox for AUD 99.95. It is listed as currently unavailable on the Microsoft Store, with a Rs. 3,999 price on the main page. There is also no listing for Cricket 22 on the Nintendo Store as of now.

cricket 22 australia women cricket 22

Australia Women in Cricket 22
Photo Credit: Big Ant Studios

Big Ant Studios also mentioned that Cricket 22 was available to pre-order through the PlayStation Store but had to be removed due to the delay. Furthermore, Big Ant CEO Symons said he’s not confident that will be returning to Sony’s games store for pre-order but said “I am confident it will be for sale at 12:01am on 2 December in your local timezone.” However, the game is still listed on PlayStation Store.

Players can pre-order the physical edition in India through Game Loot, Games The Shop, and Prepaid Game Card.

How can I download Cricket 22?

Cricket 22 is releasing on December 2 and players can preload the game before that so that they can enjoy the game as soon as it is released. However, as of now only Xbox has announced that the game is available for preload on Xbox consoles. Players should note that pre-loading the game will not give them early access to it.

Cricket 22 PC system requirements

Steam mentions the minimum and recommended requirements for Cricket 22 for PC players.

Cricket 22 minimum PC system requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 3/ Intel Core i3
  • GPU: AMD Radeon R7 260/ Nvidia GTX 650Ti
  • RAM: 8GB
  • VRAM: 2GB
  • DirectX: 11

Cricket 22 recommended PC system requirements

  • Processor: AMD Ryzen 5/ Intel Core i5
  • GPU: AMD Radeon 5500 XT/ Nvidia RTX 2060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • VRAM: TBD
  • DirectX: 12

Furthermore, players would also need a minimum of 45GB of onboard storage free on their PCs that run at least Windows 10.

cricket 22 melbourne cricket 22

Melbourne Cricket Ground in Cricket 22
Photo Credit: Big Ant Studios

Cricket 22 gameplay

As for the gameplay, Big Ant Studios has announced that it worked on fan feedback to improve the franchise.

  • New bowling and fielding controls that will “refine” what Cricket 19 fans were used to
  • Story-driven career mode, putting you in charge on and off the field. You’ll have control over training, injuries, press conferences, and more.
  • New commentary team, featuring Michael Atherton, Ian Healy, Mel Jones, Alison Mitchell, and David Gower. Jones and Mitchell will lead the all-women commentary for the women’s game which is getting the same treatment as the men’s game, Big Ant claims.
  • Better accessibility, with revamped tutorials to make it easier for first-time cricket players.

Being a portable console, the gameplay on Nintendo Switch is expected to be slightly different than on PC, PlayStation, or Xbox. Since Cricket 22 has been made keeping the next-gen consoles in mind, it is safe to assume that it will come with better graphics on PS5 and Xbox Series S/X compared to other platforms.

Cricket 22 review

There has been no announcement of an embargo on the review of Cricket 22. That said, the first reviews should be available around the time of release.


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Current Covid vaccines can likely protect from omicron: BioNTech CEO

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The current generation of Covid-19 vaccines probably will still protect against severe disease in people infected by the omicron variant, BioNTech SE Chief Executive Officer Ugur Sahin said.


The new, highly mutated variant could result in more vaccinated people becoming infected, Sahin told Dow Jones in an interview. But even if the variant is able to elude antibodies in vaccinated people, it will probably still be targeted by immune cells, he said.





“Don’t freak out,” Sahin said. “The plan remains the same: Speed up the administration of a third booster shot.”


The comments from the chief of BioNTech, Pfizer Inc.’s partner on the Covid vaccine, add to a growing range of views from vaccine developers on the efficacy of their shots against the new variant. Amid a shortage of hard data, some of their positions have seemed contradictory at times, fueling uncertainty among investors about how to react to omicron’s emergence.


Moderna Inc. executives said earlier that omicron’s many mutations suggest new vaccines will be needed, triggering a drop in financial markets. The University of Oxford, which developed a vaccine with AstraZeneca Plc, said there’s no evidence existing shots won’t provide some protection against the new strain.


Lab Tests


Ultimately, the proof will come in the results of lab tests within weeks — and in the performance of the shots against the variant in real-world populations.


U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is also projecting cautious optimism on the vaccines. Biden said Monday that his medical team believes that current vaccines “will continue to provide a degree of protection against severe disease,” but that more data will come in a few weeks. Updated, omicron-specific vaccines are “hopefully unlikely” and the U.S. does “not yet believe that additional measures will be needed.”


The European Union’s drugs regulator said earlier Tuesday that it would use expedited procedures to approve new versions of the Covid-19 vaccines to address omicron should the current ones prove insufficient to fight it off.


BioNTech also moved to speed up the availability of shots for younger school-aged children in the European Union. The company informed European Commission officials on Tuesday that vaccines for children ages 5 to 11 would ship the week of Dec. 13, a week earlier than had been planned, according to documents seen by Bloomberg News.


(Updates with faster schedule of children’s vaccines)


–With assistance from Josh Wingrove.

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